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KENNEBEC -- A 19-year-old Lower Brule woman was sentenced Thursday to 35 years in prison for driving drunk and causing a crash that killed five people and injured others last year. Tessa J. Crane hung her head and occasionally wiped tears from her eyes as she listened to family members of the five people killed in the crash give emotionally charged statements during her sentencing Thursday afternoon at the Lyman County Courthouse in Kennebec.
CORSICA -- Andrea Cleveland checked yes. Cleveland, a 16-year-old from Corsica, died of injuries she suffered in a single-car crash Nov. 1, 2011, on a rural road south of Platte. But before the crash, she checked the box to become an organ donor on her driver's license application. By checking that box and donating her organs, five peoples' lives were saved. "It did mean something to her," said Jeff Cleveland, Andrea's father, in an interview this week with The Daily Republic. "She didn't just check the box.
In all likelihood, it was the first and last time Pat Smith will proclaim "let's eat cake" in a courtroom. Smith, who served as Davison County state's attorney for the last 14 years, was sworn in as the newest judge in South Dakota's First Judicial Circuit in a ceremony Friday at the Davison County Courthouse in Mitchell.
Despite a general decline in gasoline prices across South Dakota in the last three months, Mitchell residents are paying more than most residents in the state. The Daily Republic recorded the price of regular unleaded gasoline at 15 filling stations Friday and found the average cost per gallon to be $3.372. Mitchell's average price was about 10 cents higher than Friday's state average of $3.273, as reported by AAA, and higher than many other local averages in South Dakota, including Sioux Falls, at $3.177, Yankton, at $3.157, and Rapid City, at $3.150.
The Mitchell Police Division searched the apartment of a Mount Vernon man for evidence related to an armed robbery at a Mitchell convenience store. Court documents filed Tuesday pursuant to a search warrant executed Nov. 28 at the residence of Joshua Samuel Johnson, 25, show police looked for evidence related to the Nov. 24 armed robbery at Dakota Sunset Liquor.
Whether patients have elective surgery depends largely on where they live and not necessarily how sick they are, a newly released report says. "It really reveals some of the most troubling aspects about our health care system," said David Goodman, a co-principal investigator for the report, during a teleconference Wednesday.
A second man will serve time in prison for his role in an aggravated assault involving a baseball bat last spring in Mitchell. Brent Logan Zephier, 19, was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison, with two and a half years suspended, for aiding and abetting aggravated assault. Zephier was initially given a more lenient sentence in September but has since admitted to multiple probation violations. On March 16, Zephier drove Colin Kelly Stands, 18, to and from the 300 block of East Hanson Avenue in Mitchell, where Stands beat another man with a baseball bat.
PIERRE -- Defense attorneys have asked the South Dakota Supreme Court to honor a lower court's rejection of an accused murderer's confession. Prosecutors already have sought an appeal to keep the confession in the case. Mitchell defense attorneys Doug Dailey and Chris Nipe filed their response Friday to the prosecution's appeal request.
PIERRE -- The South Dakota Supreme Court has given a Mitchell man custody of his two children, reversing a circuit judge's decision to give custody to the children's maternal grandparents. The Supreme Court found First Circuit Judge Sean O'Brien was mistaken when he ruled Jered Mandel gave up the right to have custody of his two children, currently ages 5 and 6, simply because the children's maternal grandparents, Doug and Kari Veldheer, were their primary caregivers for part of 2008, all of 2009 and most of 2010. Oral arguments in the case were presented to the Supreme Court on Oct.
State officials hope South Dakota's untapped oil and gas resources will attract developers, even with a full-blown oil boom happening across the northern border. "I think we can realize some economic development in our state," State Geologist Derric Iles said, speaking Thursday at Highland Conference Center in Mitchell for the South Dakota Telecommunications Association's Fall Outside Plant Workshop. "There is potential we have that is unexplored," Iles said. To promote oil and gas development in South Dakota, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has created an on